Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Doing My Part to Make The Invisible Coast More Visible

Since Hurricane Katrina first struck, I've made a conscious effort to keep attention focused not only on New Orleans, but on the hundreds of coastal communities that were thrashed by Katrina and Rita (including Pascagoula, Waveland, Biloxi, Bay St. Louis, and Lakeland, among others). They may not be as well known as New Orleans, but that doesn't mean that they don't need our continued help and assistance any less. The combination of hurricanes affected hundreds of miles of coastline, and Mississippi was actually harder hit by Katrina than New Orleans. It was in Mississippi that the largest storm surges were felt and the highest winds lashed the coast.

A guest poster at Blackfive, Karen, relates her views that Mississippi's plight has been forgotten by the national media. Her comments echo an earlier editorial by the Biloxi Sun Herald entitled the Invisible Coast, which she includes in her posting. The key grafs:
The awful tragedy that befell New Orleans as a consequence of levee failures at the time of Katrina, likewise, taken by itself, also represents a monumental natural disaster. But, of course, the devastation there, and here, were not separate events, but one, wrought by the Aug. 29 storm.

There is no question that the New Orleans story, like ours, is a compelling, ongoing saga as its brave people seek to reclaim those parts of the city lost to the floods.

But it becomes more and more obvious that to national media, New Orleans is THE story - to the extent that if the Mississippi Coast is mentioned at all it is often in an add-on paragraph that mentions "and the Gulf Coast" or "and Mississippi and Alabama."

The television trucks and satellite dishes that were seen here in the early days have all but disappeared.
Thankfully, big media isn't the sole source of information these days. Bloggers and local media outlets can generate stories and attention on the continuing problems associated with the cleanup and rebuilding efforts. The Sun Herald is particularly crucial in getting information out about the situation in Mississippi and even the Times-Picayune in New Orleans isn't just covering the situation in New Orleans but the problems throughout the Gulf Coast (albeit with a NOLA bent).

Others blogging this story: Dummocrats, Sgt. Hook, and Small Town Veteran.

Quite a few bloggers noticed the Sun Herald story and blogged it over the past few days including: Basil's Blog, Dean Esmay, The World According to Carl, sugarfoot, Did we survive Hurricane Katrina or not?, and Sister City Support Network

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